Tag Archives: Lack of sleep

5 Things To Do If Lacking Sleep

The best thing to do to avoid feeling sluggish in the middle of the day is to make sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.  But, we all know occasionally that doesn’t happen, so here are 5 simple things you can do to provide a pick me up on a sluggish afternoon:

 

1. Make Every Meal a Balanced Meal

 

When you lack sleep, your body craves sugary foods to make up for the loss of serotonin and dopamine from the lack of sleep.  Foods with fiber (whole grains), protein (lean poultry and legumes) and healthy fats (avocados and nuts) help to keep your blood sugar more balanced, and you more alert.

 

2. A Little Caffeine.

 

The Sleep Foundation states that up to 250mg (three 8-ounce cups of regular strength coffee) is okay on an average day.  But be careful on how you time your coffee break, it takes five hours for half the caffeine to be eliminated.  So, watch the nighttime caffeine or it could affect your nighttime slumber.

 

3. Get Into the Sun

 

Just 15 minutes basking or relaxing in the sun increases your Vitamin D level.  Combined with Vitamin B (glass of milk is a great source) this helps to fight fatigue.

 

4. Midafternoon Catnap

 

Since you are an entrepreneur, you have flexibility, take advantage of that and grab a 20-minute catnap in the middle of the afternoon.  It is natural for our bodies to hit an energy low between 1 and 4 pm.  This short nap will not adversely affect your nighttime slumber.

 

5. Exercise.

 

Go for a hike, or just take the long walk to lunch.  This will get your heart going and increase your energy level.  Don’t over exert as this can make you feel fatigues.  Even 30 push-ups or squats in your office will provide a great boost of energy.

 

Eating right and getting plenty of sleep are the basic daily things you should be doing to always feel your best.  But when lack of sleep emerges, hopefully these tips will help you to have a more productive and balanced day.

Lack of Sleep Is Bad for Your Health

There has been much buzz recently about the need for sleep.  Just look at the amount of ads on TV and online for drugs to help you to sleep.  Perhaps this is because sleep deprivation, sleep apnea and insomnia are on the rise.  Organizations have been created specifically to study this and provide guidance to assist those with these issues.  Sleepfoundation.org is solely focused on this as is obvious by their name.  Also, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has a section on their website dedicated to Sleep and Sleep Disorders.  Their vision is “A world where everyone gets sufficient sleep”.  According to the CDC, about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. So, why is this a concern?

Let’s begin with 5 surprising ways lack of sleep is bad for your health.

 

1. Lack of Sleep Makes You Drunk

 

According to some research, lack of sleep is as bad as alcohol consumption as it relates to your reflexes and ability of critical thinking.  Remember the Exxon Valdez tragedy? Consider the catastrophic results of dosing off behind the wheel while driving on the Interstate.

 

2. Lack of Sleep Dumbs You Down

 

Lack of sleep hurts the cognitive processes of thinking and learning.  The various sleep cycles help in consolidating memories in the mind.  Without enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you experienced and learned during the day.

 

3. Lack of Sleep Can Kill Your Sex Drive

 

Lower libidos and less interest in sex are reported to sleep specialists by men and women who are sleep-deprived.  There was a study in the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism that showed nearly half of men who suffered from severe sleep apnea also secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night

 

4. Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Death

 

In 2007, British researchers studied more than 10,000 people over two decades.  The results showed that those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours per night nearly doubled their risk of death, in particular the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

5. Lack of Sleep Makes You Fat

 

Leptin levels in your body drop when you don’t get enough sleep.  Leptin makes you feel full.  Lack of sleep also increases your levels of ghrelin, which makes you hungry.  So if you don’t get enough sleep, you get hungrier and you don’t feel full when you eat.  A recent study on teens showed that those with fewer than eight hours of sleep per night had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 3.8-4.7% higher than those with at least eight hours of sleep.

 

Here are 5 things you can do tonight to help you to get a good night’s sleep:

 

1. Establish a regular sleep-wake schedule

 

The body gets a better quality snooze if you go to sleep and wake at the same time everyday, even on the weekends.  If it’s hard in the morning, step outside and get some sunlight, you will be less likely to go back to bed.

 

2. Don’t eat or drink close to bedtime

 

But if you do need a snack, grab some tart cherries instead of warm milk.  They have a high content of melatonin, which helps with sleep.

 

3. Avoid bright screens before bed

 

At least an hour before bed, don’t be on the computer or tablet.  The light can suppress melatonin, the hormone that helps sleep.

 

4. Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only

 

As a society we have gotten in the habit of doing everything in bed.  That sends the message to your brain that now is the time to read a book or study rather than go to sleep.

 

5. Cut out caffeine earlier

 

Five hours after your last sip of caffeine, half of it is still in your body.  So it isn’t good enough to simply pass on coffee at dinner, you should stop it after lunch.

 

 

If you want to wake up naturally rested and relaxed, there’s an app for that.  For IPhone users there is the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock.  More than onemillion people have purchased this app that measures your movements and stages of sleep.  The tool knows when you are in the lightest stage of sleep and wakes you up with a quiet noise that gradually gets louder, so you wake up feeling rested not frazzled.  We have not purchased this app, but thought it sounded interesting, so we wanted to share.

 

We hope you have many eight-hour restful nights so you can live a healthy, productive life.